A quick thought about evolution and capacities and adrenaline

Hey! Just back from a grand trip with my family. More on that later. Right now, an unrelated thought:

Brussels Airport just went on strike yesterday. So all the people who were on the flights yesterday probably got rescheduled for something soon, because airplanes are always 3/4 full or something. Now, the airplanes could just totally book all their flights to capacity, but then what happens if a strike (or whatever) happens? Everyone who’s on those flights just gets held up forever. Maybe they’ll get on a flight in 6 months. That won’t do. It’s a catastrophe.

Similarly, we humans have a certain physical capacity. And then we’ve got adrenaline, and a little extra capacity. How much more would we die if we didn’t have that, and just operated on full strength all the time?

For example (with apologies if this point is already so clear that an example is pedantic and tiresome). Say I can bench press x pounds. Now, if there were a giant brick falling on me or something, and I had to push it away so it didn’t crush me (this is an arbitrary situation that illustrates how bench pressing isn’t really all that useful, but that’s another issue), I could probably bench press 1.25x pounds, or x+20, or something.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just lift 1.25x all the time? I could do bigger, better things! I could lift heavier things! Other guys in the gym would cower in fear! But then, one day while I’m lifting my maximum amount, a fly would land on the bar, and I’d be crushed.

I mean, unless there was a spotter. (who would probably be yelling “come on dude, you can do it! This is all you! I’m not even lifting it at all!")

The point is, it would be a lot easier to die (or pass out, or whatever) if our body operated at max capacity all the time. (which is kind of counterintuitive, but not as counterintuitive as Nash Equilibria.) I wonder if there’s a lesson to be learned in that.


Anonymous -

I really have no idea what you’re talking about, but this is just another testament to the fact that Belgium SUCKS. (See my facebook note, ‘I hate Belgium’).

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